Reporting Lisa Petrillo
Neighbors 4 Neighbors
MIAMI (CBS4) – A local non-profit stepped in to the national spotlight when top notch designers from Lifetime TV’s “Designing Spaces” moved in for a makeover. The agency, Kids In Distress, is well known as a haven for families in Broward County going through tough times.
“To make a difference in the lives of children by giving them this wonderful makeover where they deal on a daily basis with abandoned, abused and neglected children,” said Lysa Liemer, the show’s creator.
The busy campus at Kids In Distress provides a wide spectrum of support programs for the families they serve.
“We offer a continuum of services, from early intervention to prevention services, at risk babies all the way up to foster and adoption services,” explained Mark Dhooge, CEO of Kids In Distress.
All of those services take a toll on the building; so the group was excited to learn “Designing Spaces” would be moving to with teams of volunteers to make everything over.
Volunteer Nicolle Hazelip, with Procter & Gamble Professionals, described the design elements that were spruced up or brought in brand new, “The walls, floors, TV, games, tables, kitchen and shelves.”
But Hazelip was most impressed with the finished product.
“The before and after, are, oh my god!” Hazelip said. “You can’t even imagine the way the room looked before, and what it looks like now.”
The children who receive services everyday at Kids In Distress noticed the difference too.
“I saw the beginning, middle, the halfway, and today was the done project. I thought I was in heaven,” said 11 year old, Ian Saunders.
In fact, the space – now all spruced up, took everyone by surprise.
“There’s a reading room in there, library, game room and one of the things we use this room for very specifically is after school care, we have drama, fine art and a place for our kids to really be kids,” said Dhooge.
The volunteers who worked tirelessly to transform the space say all the time spent remodeling paid off in just a matter of minutes.
“It’s incredible, laughs, the way I feel seeing all these kids everywhere brings goose bumps to my arms and it’s been an honor to work with these kids,” said Hazelip.
For more information on Kids In Distress programs, volunteer opportunities and projects, call Neighbors 4 Neighbors at 305-597-4404 or click here.